Give Yourself a Break: Mental Health Tips for Healthcare Workers

By Brenda McCutcheon

McCutcheon
McCutcheon

The pandemic has impacted everyone, and healthcare workers have had a particularly hard time.

Many have been working nonstop for months and are now feeling burned out and strained.

As we prepare for the darkest time of the year and a difficult start to a New Year, Loretto has been sharing ways that its frontline heroes can practice self-care and try to ease some of the stress.

These tips can be helpful for all members of our community, as well.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care involves the body, mind and soul. Daily exercise and movement are important to our health and well-being, as are mental breaks throughout the day. Go outside if you can or find a quiet corner and take five deep breathes. On each inhale tell yourself that you’ve done a terrific job. On each exhale, think of your happy place and loosen your shoulders. These breathing exercises have proven to help calm a busy mind and relax your muscles. Do these as many times as you need throughout the day to feel better and more relaxed.

Taking a hot shower or a long bath at the end of the day helps, too. The hot water and steam help relax all our muscles and make our bodies feel less tense. Studies have shown that when our bodies feel loose and relaxed, so do our minds.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Jot down three things that made you feel good during the day. It could be a task you’ve accomplished or a positive interaction you’ve had with someone. You may also choose to write down all the things you’re grateful for — loving families, great friends or simply being in good health. In hard times like these, it’s especially important to focus on the positive things to keep our spirits up every day.

Seek Help When Feeling Overwhelmed

Seek help from trusted resources if you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

The American Medical Association offers free resources to medical professionals, and at Loretto we are not only reminding and encouraging our employees to take breaks, but we’re also surprising them with fun events and celebrations, humor, complimentary meals and more. We want all caregivers to have the support they need.

There is still a dire need for healthcare workers across the country. During a time when things are continuously changing and it’s difficult to feel like you know what is secure, one industry continues to thrive: healthcare. A career in healthcare offers job security, great pay and benefits, opportunities for advancement and development, meeting new people and making a significant impact in our community. Loretto is actively seeking anyone interested in a career in healthcare. For more information, visit: www.lorettocny.org/careers.